Clare of Assisi and the Poor Sisters in the Thirteenth Century

Clare of Assisi and the Poor Sisters in the Thirteenth Century

Clare of Assisi and the Poor Sisters in the Thirteenth Century

Clare of Assisi and the Poor Sisters in the Thirteenth Century

Excerpt

The so-called “women’s religious movement” has been carefully examined in many studies published especially in the early decades of the twentieth century. An important point of departure for these studies in historiography is the famous work of Herbert Grundmann, which was published in 1935 and then published in a revised edition in 1961. In fact, all later publications on this topic make reference to that work. On the other hand, Grundmann himself reaped the plentiful harvest sown by many experts from the ranks of the mendicant orders, research whose results flowed into the major reviews of the respective institutes, such as the Archivum franciscanum historicum, the Archivum fratrum Praedicatorum and the Collectanea franciscana.

As for what concerns the origins of the Order that only in 1263 came to be called the “Order of Saint Clare,” I should make special mention of the crucial contributions of Father Livarius Oliger and Lilly Zarncke. Without repeating observations made in the chapter on “Clare and the Papacy,” we would do well to insist on the importance of these two works for several reasons. First of all, both authors were familiar with the stimulating, intense historical research in Germany in those years (Lemp, Lemmens, Wauer); although each of them had different starting points, the study they give us is rational, untainted by prejudice. I need only mention that the heated debate over the authenticity of the privilegium paupertatis attrib-

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